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Trombone Supports

Trombone Supports


Musical instruments are well known for forcing the performer’s body into all sorts of unnatural positions and causing injuries from these stresses. The string section has it the worst but the trombone can cause problems for many players. 


The left hand of the trombonist must support nearly the full weight of the trombone and activate valve levers at the same time. The weight coupled with the odd angle can strain the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder and back as well as cause tension that is detrimental to performing. An injury or health issue unrelated to trombone playing can complicate this even further. Some of the many options invented to reduce and relieve these stresses are:


  • Thumb Supports:
  • The straight trombone almost always has a brace that the thumb of the left hand wraps around. This, combined with the light weight of the straight trombone works quite well. However, when a player moves on to a trombone with a valve, that thumb support is almost always taken away and a valve is put under the pad of the thumb. So not only is the bulk of the load moved to the hand, it is now a heavier load as well. The “Thumb Support” style of brace simply puts something back in the space between the thumb and index finger to help redistribute the load. This is the simplest type of support and carries the least percentage of load in comparison to the other types but these easy to use supports are just enough to make things work well for many players whilst maintaining a natural feel. They are easy to install and non-fussy.


  • Back-of-hand Supports:
  • This type of support moves the majority of weight bearing to the back of the hand rather than the grip of the fingers. This type of support has the advantage that it can be used even on a straight trombone. These supports can reduce tension in the hand a great deal but if the problem radiates up to the shoulder, it may not be the solution. These tend to be either fussy to use or bulky and weighty. 


  • Stick Style Support:
  • The Stick Style Support moves the greatest amount of load away from the left hand by redistributing the weight through a stick to either a harness, chair or floor. These can be a bit cumbersome and the player may need to adjust to learn how to play with it. For those with more serious issues, heavy instruments or long practice sessions this can be a revelation. I have read and been told by many that these have made playing trombone possible again.



    Product

    Type

    Installation

    Pros

    Cons

    DBR Price

    Similar Products

    Ax Handle by Instrument Innovations

    Thumb Support

    Clamp fitting that attaches to cross brace of bell section.

    - easily adjustable

    - 6 different clamp sizes

    available

    - "S" and "C" shape provided

    with each kit

    - multiple cushions provided

    with each kit

    - purchase of extra clamp

    allows installation of spare parts

    on second instrument

    - can get bumped out of

    position it treated roughly

    - could pose problems fitting

    into case

    - may not fit on some braces due to too little room for clamp

    or clearance of valve tubing

    $130.00

    Bullet Brace By Edwards

    Greenhoe Rest Bar

    Thumb Support

    Clamp or permanent fitting to bell section slide receiver.

    - very sturdy

    - curved shape is comfortable

    - comes in regular and large

    for different hand sizes

    - universal fit

    - can be permanently installed

    - may not fit on all instruments

    - not cushioned

    $192.50

    to

    $230.00

    Sheridan Get-A-Grip

    Thumb Support

    Leather covered "saddle" that

    hooks under handslide and wraps around hand

    - no permanent installation

    - can be used on multiple

    instruments

    - adjustable to hand for comfort

    - may slip out of place

    N/A @ DBR

    Trombone Holding Strap by Leather Specialties Co.

    Back-of-hand

    Slips around mouthpiece shank and wraps under hand slide

    - universal fit

    - inexpensive

    - adjustable

    - easily removed when not

    needed

    - difficult to remove hand

    quickly

    $27.15

    Yamaha Trombone Hand Strap

    Neotech Trombone Grip

    Back-of-hand

    Plastic fitting attached to slide with removable clamp hand piece

    - fits many trombones including

    straight trombones

    - large adjustment range for

    hand size

    - adjustable distance from bell

    - trombone can be comfortably

    played without hand piece

    attached

    - 2 piece system that

    requires disassembly to fit hand slide in case

    - difficult to snap in place for

    young players

    - slide fitting may obstruct bass

    trombone levers

    $43.95

    Rath Trombone Hand Support

    Back-of-hand

    Clamp fitting that attaches to cross brace of bell section.

    - plastic bushings provide

    easy fitment on multiple brands

    - sturdy

    - bulky

    - heavy

    - may not fit on some braces due to too little room for clamp

    or clearance of valve tubing

    - could pose problems fitting

    into case

    N/A @ DBR

    Hagmann Hand Rest Support

    Ergobone by Ergobrass

    Stick style

    Clamp fitting at hand slide

    - nearly 100% weight support

    - large fit range

    - able to use multiple ways:

    harness, chair seat or floor

    - bulky

    - learning period

    $215.00